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Biology 1st Semester Final Study Guide: DeBroux
Scientific Method (Chapter 1)
 Hypothesis: measurable prediction and rationale
 Manipulated (independent) variable, responding (dependent) variable and controlled
 Be able to explain why it is critical that an experiment only test one manipulated
variable at a time.
 Reliability and validity
 Know that to assess the reliability of your results your experiment needs to have
multiple samples or repeated trials.
 Know that some methods for improving the validity of an experiment include having
all the necessary controlled variables, controlling for sample bias, and improving
measuring techniques.
Ecology (Chapters 13 and 14)
 Biotic, abiotic, population, community, ecosystem, habitat, niche, trophic level
 Be able to define population density, know the formula and be able to calculate it
and give the correct unit.
 Autotroph (producer), heterotroph (consumer). Types of heterotrophs: herbivore,
carnivore, omnivore, decomposer
 Be able to define biodiversity and know that tropical rainforest typically have the
highest level of biodiversity (for terrestrial biomes). Know that biodiversity
contributes to the stability of an ecosystem.
 Energy pyramid. Explain why available energy decreases in a food chain (and how
this is consistent with Law of Conservation of Energy)
 Exponential growth graph, logistic growth graph, carrying capacity
 Symbiotic relationships: mutualism, commensalism, parasitism
 Be able to explain the overall equation for photosynthesis, knowing the reactants
and products. Know that glucose has greater energy than reactants and that this
chemical energy comes from sunlight.
 Know the overall equation for cellular respiration (reactants and products). Know
that the purpose of cellular respiration is to use the chemical energy stored in a sugar
molecule to produce ATP (the energy currency of the cell).
 Carbon cycle: know the basic cycling of carbon including the role of photosynthesis,
cellular respiration and combustion and be able to explain the two causes for
increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
 Nitrogen cycle: know that all organisms need nitrogen to build DNA and proteins but
that most organisms cannot use atmospheric nitrogen (N2). Know that nitrogenfixing bacteria can convert atmospheric nitrogen (N2) into nitrogen compounds that
plants can use.
 Biomagnification of toxins
 Invasive species (also known as introduced species)
Be able to define sustainability for resource use.
Evolution (Chapters 10, 11 and 12)
 Be able to explain the process of natural selection and give three requirements for
natural selection.
Know that the variation required for natural selection to occur results from random
mutations in genes, which produces changes that may be harmful or beneficial.
Be able to explain that an adaptation is a characteristic that makes a species suited
for its niche, and is the result of natural selection.
Divergent evolution and speciation (new species).
Homologous structure and vestigial structure.
Be able to define convergent evolution and explain why it would occur.
Be able to define biochemical evidence for evolutionary relationships (DNA sequence
of nucleotides and protein sequence of amino acids) and explain why this is
considered to be the best evidence. Know why using anatomical comparisons to
compare evolutionary relationships might be misleading.
Be able to define coevolution and be able to identify examples.
Chemistry of Life (Chapter 2)
 Know that water takes extra energy to heat compared to most substances and
therefore resists temperature changes.
 Acids, bases (alkaline), pH scale
 Know the basic characteristics and possible functions of the following organic
molecules: carbohydrates (monosaccharides, disaccharides, and polysaccharides),
lipids, proteins (building blocks= amino acid)
 Enzyme, active site, substrate. Know that each type of enzyme is specific to a certain
chemical reaction. Understand that enzymes are not changed in the reaction so can
catalyze the same reaction many times.
 Be able to explain the effect of temperature and pH on enzyme catalyzed reactions
and why this occurs.
Cells (Chapter 3)
 Prokaryotic vs. eukaryotic cells
 Differences between plant and animal cells
 Be able explain the effect of increased size on the surface area to volume ratio
(amount of surface area per unit of volume) and why the ratio changes.
 Effect of internal organization on maximum cell size
 Function and basic shape of the following organelles: plasma membrane, cell wall,
cilia, nucleus, ribosome, flagellum, mitochondrion, chloroplast, rough ER and Golgi
 Know the organization of the phospholipid molecules in the plasma membrane.
Understand that proteins embedded in the membrane have different functions
including forming channels to allow passage of certain molecules.
 Be able to define selectively permeable.
 Be able to define diffusion including that it is the movement of molecules from HIGH
concentration to LOW concentration and that it is a form of passive transport.
 Osmosis: Be able to define hypertonic, hypotonic and isotonic solutions.
Be able to explain which direction water will move when given the solute
concentrations inside and outside of a cell.
 Be able to explain that when a cell is in an isotonic solution there is a dynamic
equilibrium for the movement of water; water moves in and out of the cell but this
movement is balanced and there is no NET movement.
 Be able to compare and contrast passive and active transport
 Exocytosis and endocytosis